Gardening teaches students more than how to grow plants

Students at Muller Elementary School in Tampa are gaining a green thumb. They are learning how to grow their own hydroponic garden.

"They are learning where their food comes from, sustainability, the growing standard on nutrients and how the plants thrive," said garden club teacher Jenny Buffington.

The garden club is part of a partnership with Tampa Bay Farm 2 School.

"That mission is to work with underserved populations at Title One schools and Boys and Girls clubs to teach them how to grow their own food, show them gardening," said director Elizabeth Leib. 

Not only are they growing this food, but they are also using it to develop culinary skills.

"Every month we gather some of the materials that the kids have grown and we have a cooking day and they get a chance to make their own healthy plant-based dish," said Leib. 

"They're learning a lot of different things and they're able to taste foods that they might not necessarily taste when they're at home," said Buffington.

"It's important that they understand that when they go to their grocery store that food didn't just magically appear there," said Leib.

It's planting seeds for a healthy life.  

"It teaches them about nutrition and, hopefully, that they'll carry this on and be more interested in the future," said Buffington.

For more information about Tampa Bay Farm 2 School, visit